CRIME

Prominent tax protester convicted of federal charges

A prominent tax protester has been convicted of issuing fake financial documents to banks and the U.S. Treasury, and failing to file tax returns.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports (https://is.gd/fvQUJz ) Winton Shrout declined comment after Friday's verdict at the federal courthouse in Portland.

Government lawyers said Shrout tried to cheat banks and the government while preaching illegal schemes in paid seminars across the country.

They said he sent homemade International Bills of Exchange to a small bank, each purporting to be legal tender for a trillion dollars. U.S. Tax Division lawyer Scott Wexler told jurors that Shrout hoped to "slip one by" unsuspecting workers.

The 69-year-old who moved to suburban Portland from Utah testified he was given authority to make the financial documents from the Office of International Treasury Control. Shrout also testified that he hadn't paid taxes in 20 years.

He will be sentenced in August.

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Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com